Technology Case Studies

87' Ketch - Technology upgrade

The Southern Cross is an 87' Herreshoff ketch with navigation systems dating back to the late 1970s. She had on board an older VHF radio, Single Side band radio, weather fax, basic auto pilot, and Loran, along with a depth finder and basic wind system. We needed to update and better equip her for current navigation, weather, and communications. 

It was determined that the boat would require a RADAR installation, replacement of LORAN with GPS, an updated VHF radio, chart plotters  and integration with NMEA2000. The owner choose to keep the auto pilot not integrated with the rest of the navigation systems.  Additionally, we needed to update the safety gear on board and added a new offshore life raft and ships EPIRB.  We selected GARMIN as the base technology provider. A NMEA2000 network was designed, to include a DSC capable NMEA2000 VHF radio, integrated to GPS capable of WAAS and GLONASS. a chart plotter was added to the navigation station below and an additional chart plotter at the helm. Garmin wind and depth transducers we added and data routed via NMEA2000 to the chart plotters. This configuration allowed GPS to be received by a central  GPS receiver and feed to all GPS capable devices (VHF, and Chart plotters) The RADAR was installed and linked via a GARMIN systems interconnect to the Chart plotters for RADAR overlay capabilities. Finally an XM Radio receiver was added to the network to provide for  a link to the ships entertainment system for XM Radio and to the Chart plotters via NMEA2000 to provide for marine offshore weather on the chart plotters.  MMIS, XM, DSC, EPIRB and other ID numbers were created for the boat and the entire system was installed, configured, and turned over to the owner with a couple training sailing to bring the owner and crew up to speed on the new technology. 


36' Sloop - Chart plotter, GPS, and remote control for auto pilot by smart phone and WiFi

This boat has a basic Seatalk NG network providing interconnection between an existing autopilot, wind, and depth transducers and indicators. The client wanted to utilize his smart phone for control of both the auto pilot and a new chart plotter.  The client selected a chart plotter and GPS receiver,  and provided it to us for the installation.  We configured the new Chart plotter at the navigation station. Installed the GPS receiver on deck near the cockpit, and integrated both using NMEA2000 to the existing SeaTalk NG network.  We then configured the WiFi on the chart plotter and the client's smart phone to allow for bi-directional data and management of the Chart plotter and autopilot allowing the client to make adjustments and course corrections while underway from his smartphone from on deck, the cockpit or anywhere below.


39' Sloop -full systems upgrades and integration to existing systems

The twin helm 39' sailboat was purchased by the owner with an existing Seatalk network consisting of an ST6000+ autopilot, wind and depth transducers, wind and depth instrumentation on the starboard helm, and a older non-networked VHF radio in the navigation station. It was determined that the much older RayMarine Chart Plotter, although operational, was located in a spot between the helms, at knee level and unusable in its current location for day to day navigation.  It would be maintained on board as a backup system. The old RayMarine Seatalk network is not easily be interoperable with the newer NMEA2000 systems so it was determined, for financial reasons, to maintain the existing Seatalk for the time being since all the RayMarine gear works. 

The new NEMA 2000 design and all the new equipment was to be GARMIN. The NMEA 2000 network was installed connecting the Navstation area and the Cockpit areas, and new gear was added.  The navigation station install included a new DSC MMSI capable VHF radio was installed, with it's own antenna, leaving the older radio for backup and other uses. The new VHF was networked and provides AIS data to the new onboard network feeding AIS data to all chart plotters. Two Garmin chart plotters were added at the Nav station for general navigation, weather, XM radio, and general ships monitoring.  A third Chart plotter was added at the Helm for general duties in the cockpit. All networked with both NMEA2000 and Garmin's system interconnect, along with an HD color RADAR.   The RADAR provides traditional RADAR overlay on all Chart plotters as well as traditional RADAR imaging window options.  WAAS and GLONASS capable GPS receivers were installed providing all systems with GPS data via NMEA2000. An XM radio receiver was installed providing an audio interface for XM Radio to the boats entertainment system, and XM Off shore weather data to the NMEA2000 network for weather reports and weather overlays on the chart plotters. Additionally, two IPADs were configured with WiFi from all three chart plotters providing complete interoperability via WiFi from any location on board and allowing additional data screens at the helm for support data.  A GARMIN GMI 20 multifunction instrument was added to the port helm with plans to add 2 more in the future. 

New Safety gear was added as well, including a 4 person off shore life raft, and ships offshore EPIRB, augmenting the older 8 person offshore raft that was already installed.

Future plans include an AIS transceiver  for additional offshore safety,